Fiction Affliction: May Releases in Science Fiction

Sixteen science fiction books are beaming onto shelves this May, including space epics, post-nuclear dystopias, cyborg racing, the untapped potential of the brain, and, oh, this little thing called Star Wars. Look for new series additions from Neal Asher, Stephanie Saulter, and Jack Campbell (among others), plus standalones from Lavie Tidhar, Madeline Ashby, and more!

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

 

WEEK ONE

War Factory (Transformation #2)—Neal Asher (May 3, Night Shade)
Thorvald Spear, resurrected from his death over a hundred years earlier, continues to hunt Penny Royal, the rogue AI and dangerous war criminal on the run from Polity forces. Sverl, a Prador genetically modified by Penny Royal and slowly becoming human, pursues Cvorn, a Prador harboring deep hatred for the Polity. Blite, captain of a bounty hunting ship, hands over two prisoners and valuable memplants from Penny Royal to the Brockle, a dangerous forensics entity under strict confinement on a Polity spaceship. Penny Royal continues to pull all the strings in the background, keeping the Polity at bay and seizing control of an attack ship. It seeks Factory Station Room 101, a wartime manufacturing space station believed to be destroyed. What does it want with the factory? And will Spear find the rogue AI before it gets there?

The Lost Stars: Shattered Spear (Lost Stars #4)—Jack Campbell (May 3, Ace)
The Syndicate Worlds continue to splinter as more star systems pledge allegiance to President Gwen Iceni, General Artur Drakon, and the new government they’re establishing at Midway. But the toxic legacy of Syndicate rule continues to undermine their efforts as the rebels encounter difficulty trusting one another and believing their new leaders’ promises of freedom from tyranny. Before Iceni and Drakon can put their house in order, they must deal with an even greater threat. An enigma warship has appeared and vanished near a Syndic colony. If the aliens are capable of jumping into other human-occupied star systems, then billions of people could be vulnerable to a hostile invasion fleet anywhere they choose to strike. But an even greater vulnerability lies with Iceni and Drakon, as a once-trusted adviser-turned-saboteur plans revenge…

Admiral (Evagardian #1)—Sean Danker (Roc, May 3)
He is the last to wake. The label on his sleeper pad identifies him as an admiral of the Evagardian Empire—a surprise as much to him as to the three recent recruits now under his command. He wears no uniform, and he is ignorant of military protocol, but the ship’s records confirm he is their superior officer. Whether he is an Evagardian admiral or a spy will be of little consequence if the crew members all end up dead. They are marooned on a strange world, their ship’s systems are failing one by one—and they are not alone.

BloodlineClaudia Gray (May 3, Del Rey)
When the Rebellion defeated the Empire in the skies above Endor, Leia Organa believed it was the beginning to a lasting peace. But after decades of vicious infighting and partisan gridlock in the New Republic Senate, that hope seems like a distant memory. Now a respected senator, Leia must grapple with the dangers that threaten to cripple the fledgling democracy. Underworld kingpins, treacherous politicians, and Imperial loyalists are sowing chaos. Hoping to bring strong leadership to a divided galaxy, senators are calling for the election of a First Senator. As the daughter of Darth Vader, Leia faces with distrust the prospect of any one person holding such a powerful position—even when supporters suggest Leia herself for the job. But a new enemy may make this path Leia’s only option. For at the edges of the galaxy, a mysterious threat is growing…

The Map of Bones (The Fire Sermon #2)—Francesca Haig (May 3, Gallery Books)
Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that has laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, for some unknowable reason every person is born with a twin: one is an Alpha, physically perfect in every way; the other an Omega—burdened with deformity, small or large. Omegas are branded and ostracized while the Alphas have gathered the world’s sparse resources for themselves. Though proclaiming their superiority, for all their effort, Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: whenever one twin dies, so does the other. Cass is a rare Omega, one burdened with psychic foresight. While her twin, Zach, gains power on the Alpha Council, she dares to dream the most dangerous dream of all: equality.

OutridersJay Posey (May 3, Angry Robot)
Captain Lincoln Suh died on a Wednesday. And things only got harder from there. Snatched out of special operations and thrown headfirst into a secretive new unit, Lincoln finds himself as the team leader for the 519th Applied Intelligence Group, better known as the Outriders. And his first day on the job brings a mission with the highest possible stakes. A dangerously cunning woman who most assuredly should be dead has seemingly returned. And her plans aren’t just devastating, they might be unstoppable. How do you defeat a hidden enemy when you can’t let them know they’ve been discovered? You send in the Outriders.

Regeneration ([R]evolution #3)—Stephanie Saulter (May 3, Jo Fletcher Books)
The gillungs—waterbreathing, genetically modified humans—are thriving. They’ve colonised riverbanks and ports long since abandoned to the rising seas and the demand for their high-efficiency technologies is growing fast. But as demand grows, so do fears about their impact on both norm businesses and the natural environment. Then, a biohazard scare at Sinkat, their colony on the Thames, fuels the opposition and threatens to derail the gillungs’ progress. But was it an accident, or was it sabotage? Detective Sharon Varsi has her suspicions, but her investigations are compromised by family ties. And now there is a new threat: Zavcka Klist is about to be released from prison—and she wants her company back.

The Raft—Fred Strydom (May 3, Talos)
On Day Zero, the collapse of civilization was as instantaneous as it was inevitable. A mysterious and oppressive movement rose to power in the aftermath, forcing people into isolated communes run like regimes. Kayle Jenner finds himself trapped on a remote beach, and all that remains of his life before is the vague and haunting vision of his son. Kayle finally escapes, only to find a broken world being put back together in strange ways. As more memories from his past life begin returning, the people he meets wandering the face of a scorched earth—some reluctant allies, others dangerous enemies—begin to paint a terrifying picture. In his relentless search for his son, Kayle will discover more than just his lost past. He will discover the truth behind Day Zero—a truth that makes both fools and gods of men.

 

WEEK TWO

Too Like the LightningAda Palmer (May 10, Tor Books)
Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer—a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away. The world into which Mycroft and Carlyle have been born is a hard-won utopia built on technologically-generated abundance, and also on complex and mandatory systems of labelling all public writing and speech. Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destabilize the system: the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true. Who can, it would seem, bring inanimate objects to life…

Central StationLavie Tidhar (May 10, Tachyon Publications)
A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper. When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’s ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik—a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts. His father is terminally ill with a multigenerational mind-plague. Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation—a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness—are just the beginning of irrevocable change.

 

WEEK THREE

Company TownMadeline Ashby (May 17, Tor Books)
New Arcadia is a city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes, now owned by one very wealthy, powerful, byzantine family: Lynch Ltd. Hwa is of the few people in her community (which constitutes the whole rig) to forgo bio-engineered enhancements. As such, she’s the last truly organic person left on the rig—making her doubly an outsider, as well as a neglected daughter and bodyguard extraordinaire. Still, her expertise in the arts of self-defense and her record as a fighter mean that her services are in high demand. When the youngest Lynch needs training and protection, the family turns to Hwa. But can even she protect against increasingly intense death threats seemingly coming from another timeline?

RuntimeS.B. Divya (May 17, Tor.com Publishing)
The Minerva Sierra Challenge is a grueling spectacle, the cyborg’s Tour de France. Rich thrill-seekers with corporate sponsorships, extensive support teams, and top-of-the-line exoskeletal and internal augmentations pit themselves against the elements in a day-long race across the Sierra Nevada. Marmeg Guinto doesn’t have funding, and she doesn’t have support. She cobbled her gear together from parts she found in rich people’s garbage and spent the money her mother wanted her to use for nursing school to enter the race. But the Minerva Challenge is the only chance she has at a better life for herself and her younger brothers, and she’s ready to risk it all.

The God WavePatrick Hemstreet (May 17, Harper Voyager)
For decades, scientists have speculated about the untapped potential of the human brain. Now, neuroscientist Chuck Brenton has made an astonishing breakthrough. He has discovered the key—the crucial combination of practice and conditioning—to access the incredible power dormant in ninety percent of our brains. Applying his methods to test subjects, he has stimulated abilities that elevate brain function to seemingly “godlike” levels. These extraordinary abilities can transform the world, replacing fear and suffering with tranquility and stability. But in an age of increasing militarization, corporate exploitation, and explosive technological discovery, a group of influential power brokers are determined to control Brenton’s new superbeings for their own manipulative ends—and their motives may be far from peaceful.

 

WEEK FOUR

Dark Run (Keiko Series #1)—Mike Brooks (May 24, Saga Press)
In this debut space epic, a crew of thieves and con artists take on a job that could pay off a lot of debts in a corrupt galaxy where life is cheap and criminals are the best people in it. The Keiko is a ship of smugglers, soldiers of fortune, and adventurers traveling Earth’s colony planets searching for the next job. And they never talk about their past—until now. Captain Ichabod Drift is being blackmailed. He has to deliver a special cargo to Earth, and no one can know they’re there. It’s what they call a dark run. And it may be their last.

The Last Star (The Fifth Wave #3)—Rick Yancey (May 24, Putnam Books for Young Readers)
The enemy is Other. The enemy is us. They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us. But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves. In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves… or saving what makes us human.

 

WEEK FIVE

Legion (Lazarus War #2)—Jamie Sawyer (May 31, Orbit)
Conrad Harris is the legend known as Lazarus, and he has died hundreds of times. Using simulant bodies, he runs suicide missions in the depths of space. But he always comes back. As commanding officer of the Lazarus Legion, Harris and his elite Simulant Operations team are humanity’s last line of defense against the hostile alien race known as the Krell. Having survived their ordeal on Helios, they’re now leading a large-scale mission to the perilous, unexplored region of the Damascus Rift. There, another Artefact has been discovered. It is the product of an ancient alien life form—and a possible weapon to be used against the Krell. This Artefact could finally help humanity win the war. But what Harris and the Lazarus Legion will discover there is from their worst nightmares . . .

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